Webcomics and Digital Comics

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Lieske, Daniel. The Wormworld Saga. 25 Dec. 2010 – present. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. Accessed from http://www.wormworldsaga.com

Summary: Follow a young boy named Jonas Berg, as he enters an alternate reality, Wormworld, a magical and mysterious place. There are five chapters available online and creator Daniel Lieske, is currently working on the sixth chapter.

Appeal Factors:

  • Adventure/fantasy stories
  • Episodic
  • Is planned to be a trilogy
  • Can view in multiple languages
  • May appeal to fans of The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Neverending Story, and The Chronicles of Narnia series 
  • Vertical page layout
  • Medium amount of words per panel

Potential Readers:

  • Appeals to a wide range of audiences

Visual Style:

  • Detailed and intricate digital artwork
  • Vivid and beautiful color palettes
  • Vertical page layout
  • Some panels overlap

Textual Style:

  • Dialogue is conversational and expressive
  • Text is placed in white and blue speech bubbles
  • Some sound effects happen outside the panels
  • Sound effects are not placed in speech bubbles
  • Medium amount of words per panel
  • Text is all capital letters

Awards: 

  • The Wormworld Saga App won the Publishing Innovation Award for Comics and Graphic Novel apps, 2012.

Additional Information: 

  • “The graphic novel is plotted out as a trilogy, and the first part we just entered will consist of something between 15 and 20 chapters. All in all, the whole saga will be something between 45 and 60 chapters.” Newsarama.com 

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Tamaki, Jillian. SuperMutant Magic Academy. 2010 – present. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. Accessed from http://mutantmagic.com

Summary: The SuperMutant Magic Academy webcomic is about school drama, teen angst, and insecurities among the super mutants at this prep academy.

Appeal Factors:

  • Fantasy/magic/comedy/drama
  • Humorous and witty (both in text and in the drawings)
  • Dialogue is expressive
  • Each one of these comics is a standalone strip
  • Most of the comic strips consist of six panels
  • Most of the sketches are black-and-white, but some do have color to them
  • Medium amount of words per panel

Potential Readers:

  • More suited for an older teen and/or adult audience (some of the webcomics do contain foul language and sexual innuendoes)

Visual Style: 

  • Most of the comic strips consist of six panels
  • Most of the sketches are black-and-white, but some do have color to them

Textual Style:

  • Medium amount of words per panel
  • Text is in different shaped speech bubbles
  • Dialogues is expressive

Awards: 

  • “SMMA won an Ignatz for best webcomic at SPX 2012, received an honorable mention in The Best American Comics 2010 anthology, and appeared on the long-list for Slate’s first Cartoonist Studio Prize.” SuperMutant Magic Academy

Additional Information:

  • Jillian Tamaki, the creator of the SuperMutant Magic Academy talks about how the webcomic got started on the webcomic’s official website. She says,”SuperMutant Magic Academy is a webcomic that I started in 2010 on a whim. I had been asked to contribute a comic to Marvel’s Strange Tales II anthology and, despite having no real knowledge of the superhero genre, had a lot of fun. What I did read as a kid was a lot of Archie comics and strips like Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, For Better or For Worse (the usual suspects). So I suppose SMMA is kind of a blend of all those things. I think of it as a diary of sorts too.” SuperMutant Magic Academy
  • “Drawn & Quarterly will be publishing a book collecting the online strips plus new material in Spring 2015.”                             SuperMutant Magic Academy

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Kerschl, Karl.The Abominable Charles Christopher. 20 June 2007 – present. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. Accessed from http://abominable.cc

Summary: This webcomic follows Charles Christopher, a young sasquatch and the adventures he goes on in the forest and the characters he meets along the way.

Appeal Factors:

  • Grey-toned artwork
  • Anthropomorphic characters
  • Stories are engaging and simplistic
  • Realistic and detailed artwork
  • Few to moderate amount of words per panel
  • Every Wednesday, a new webcomic is uploaded to The Abominable Charles Christopher Website.

Potential Readers:

Appeals to a wide range of audiences

Visual Style: 

  • Realistic and detailed artwork
  • Grey-toned artwork
  • Panels vary in size and length

Textual Style:

  • Few to moderate amount of words per panel
  • Some panels are completely wordless

Awards: 

  • Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding WebComic Creator/Creative Team, 2010
  • Nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic, 2010
  • Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic Winner, 2011

Additional Information:

  • This comic has been translated into various languages.  

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Munroe, Randall. XKCD: A Webcomic of Romance, Sarcasm, Math, and Language. 25 Sept. 2005 – present. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. Accessed from http://xkcd.com

Summary: This webcomic features stick-figures and minimalist sketches, surrounding the themes of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

Appeal Factors:

  • Romance, sarcasm, math, and language
  • Occasional pop culture references
  • Humorous
  • Stick-figures
  • Minimalistic sketches
  • Most of the sketches are black-and-white, but some do have color to them (e.g., Metamaterials and Philosophy)
  • Each one of these comics is a standalone strip
  • Varying lengths of comic strips (most are a couple panels long)
  • Heavy on the amount of words per panel

Potential Readers:

  • More suited for an older teen and/or adult audience (some of the webcomics do contain foul language)

Visual Style: 

  • Stick-figures
  • Minimalistic sketches
  • Humorous
  • Most of the sketches are black-and-white, but some do have color to them (e.g., Metamaterials and Philosophy)

Textual Style:

  • Humorous
  • Each one of these comics is a standalone strip
  • Varying lengths of comic strips (most are a couple panels long)
  • Heavy on the amount of words per panel

Awards:

  • Web Cartoonists’ Choice Awards for Outstanding Single Panel Comic Winner, 2008
  • Weblog Awards Best Comic Strip Winner, 2007 and 2008
  • Randall Munroe- Hugo Award Nomination for Best Fan Artist , 2011 and 2012.
  • Randall Munroe- Hugo Award Nomination for Best Graphic Story “Time,” 2014.

Additional Information: 

  • Randall Munroe, the creator of xkcd talks about how the webcomic got started on the webcomic’s official website. He says, “I was going through old math/sketching graph paper notebooks and didn’t want to lose some of the work in them, so I started scanning pages. I took the more comic-y ones and put them up on a server I was testing out, and got a bunch of readers when BoingBoing linked to me. I started drawing more seriously, gained a lot more readers, started selling t-shirts on the site, and am currently shipping t-shirts and drawing this comic full-time. It’s immensely fun and I really appreciate y’all’s support.”  xkcd Official Website

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Beaton, Kate. Hark! A Vagrant. 2006-2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. Accessed from http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php

Summary: Kate Beaton’s, Hark! A Vagrant webcomic strip presents history and literary works in a humorous and interesting way. There are topics ranging from literature (e.g., Jane Austen and Sherlock and Holmes), Superheroes (e.g., Wonder Woman and Spiderman), historical figures (e.g., Henry VIII and Napoleon), and so much more.

Appeal Factors:

  • Historical and literary references
  • Humorous and witty (both in text and in the drawings)
  • Each one of these comics is a standalone strip
  • Varying lengths of comic strips (most are three to ten panels long)
  • Heavy on the amount of words per panel

Potential Readers:

  • More suited for an older teen and/or adult audience (some of the webcomics do contain foul language and sexual innuendoes)

Visual Style: 

  • Blend of simple drawings and expressive facial expressions
  • Grey-toned illustrations
  • Humorous and witty (both in text and in the drawings)

Textual Style:

  • Each one of these comics is a standalone strip
  • Varying lengths of comic strips (most are three to 10 panels long)
  • Humorous and witty (both in text and in the drawings)
  • Heavy on the amount of words per panel

Awards: 

  • Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent, 2009
  • Harvey Award for Best Online Comics Work, 2011
  • Harvey Award for Best Online Comics Work, 2012
  • Harvey Award Special Award for Humor in Comics, 2012
  • Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist, 2012

Additional Information: 

  • Referenced on Webcomics Worth Wreading 
  • “[Beaton’s comics] are witty reinventions of literary and historical figures navigating modern times . . . A high-minded version of The Far Side that is at once of-the-moment and timeless.” DEBORAH VANKIN, Los Angeles Times
  • Kate Beaton is funny. Her hugely successful webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant!, which delights in imagining how great works of literature would look if their characters evinced contemporary sensibilities, and in imputing modern motivations to the sometimes puzzling behavior of famous historical figures? Funny.” NPR

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Alden, Sam. Haunter. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. Accessed from http://www.hauntercomic.com

Summary: This beautifully illustrated webcomic tells the story of a hunter who wakes up and finds himself in a vivid, colorful, and trippy place.

Appeal Factors

  • Is an ongoing webcomic (right now there is only part 1 and part 2)
  • Action/horror
  • Completely wordless
  • Vivid and detailed watercolored artwork

Potential Readers:

  • May appeal more to teens and older adults

Visual Style: 

  • Vivid and detailed watercolored artwork
  • Multi-colored color palette

Textual Style:

  • Completely wordless
  • Panels are various sizes
  • Most of the panels are side by side, with white space in between them

Awards:

  • Nominated for an Ignatz Award Outstanding Online Comic for “Haunter,” 2013
  • Ignatz Award Promising New Talent Winner for “Hawaii 1997” and “Haunter,” 2013

Additional Information:

  • Haunter Part 2 can be found on the Study Group Comic Books Website
  • Sam Alden, said in an interview on Music Miner that, “My comic Haunter came as a direct result of listening to a lot of my friend David Kanaga’s music. David has an enviable ability to take fairly experimental techniques and apply them to pop music, and it often ends up very jungly and multicolored. Haunter was an attempt to capture something of that energy on paper. It [sic] takes place in this candy-colored jungle, and I tried to make a lot of very abstracted shapes and forms read as foliage and undergrowth, and then tie it into a simple, compelling narrative: a hunter is chasing a pig. The challenge of translating the non visual or the non narrative into something inherently visual and narrative is always really fun to attempt.” Music Miner
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